The America the Beautiful coin program from the United States Mint has been impressive since its introduction in 2010. Following up on the success of the state quarters program released on circulation currency in the 1990s, America the Beautiful coins have seen increased demand with each new set of coins released. As with each new year, there are five new coin designs available for the 2018 Silver ATB Coin program, expanding upon the beauty and variety of an already diverse program from the United States Mint.
The America the Beautiful coin series from the United States Mint was inspired by a temporary alteration made to the nation’s circulation quarters in the late 20th century. In an effort to call attention to and celebrate the uniqueness of each US state, the Mint redesigned the reverse side of the nation’s 25-cent pieces to feature a different cultural or heritage site from each of the 50 states.
Known as the state quarters, these coins were produced from 1999 to 2008. They were so popular among Americans that the Mint followed it up with a District of Columbia and US Territories quarter series. Recognizing the demand for collectible coins honoring each state, Congress passed the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008. This bill authorized the United States Mint to produce a series of collectible silver coins inspired by the state quarters, but altogether different in a number of important ways.
The 2018 ATB release was no different than others in terms of the primary details. Five coin designs were released and the images remained focused on federally-protected lands across the country. The order of release continued to move from the oldest locations to the most recent. It just so happened that the 2018 ATB Silver coins had a greater focus on the Great Lakes Region of the country and waterways from across the nation. The designs represented the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Georgia, and Rhode Island, in order. Further, the parks and preserves represented include two national lakeshores, a national seashore, the waterways of Voyageurs National Park, and the National Wildlife Refuge on Block Island.
As mentioned above, five more states feature in the 2018 ATB release. The coin designs all have a detailed focus on wilderness settings from across the country, including the following:
Each Silver ATB Coin contains .999 fine silver, with a face value of $.25 (USD). The Silver ATB Coins have a total weight of 5 oz., are significantly larger than circulation quarters, and are not used for settling personal and private debts as they are worth much more than their legal-tender face value.
The main similarity between the coins is the obverse design. Like circulation quarters, all Silver ATB Coins share a common obverse design that has been standard on American 25-cent pieces for over 80 years. The left-profile portrait of President George Washington is featured on this side, along with the engravings “United States of America,” “Liberty,” and “In God We Trust.” You will also find the face value of the coins, “Quarter Dollar,” engraved on this side, along with the mint mark in some cases.
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